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Season 19/20 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
1 - 2
 Salford City
Maynard 77.
 
 Jervis 48, Rooney 65.
Attendance: 4170 (108 from Salford)
 
Date: 22 October 2019

STAGS MISS CHANCES AND ARE BEATEN BY SALFORD

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town were beaten 2-1 at home by Salford City in the first ever meeting between the two clubs this evening. The Stags dominated much of the game, having 69% possession, and creating 24 attempts at goal to just 4 from the visitors, but it all counted for nothing as the Stags dropped back down to 18th place as the mini-run of 3 games unbeaten came to a halt.
The Stags should have been ahead by half time. Five chances went begging in the opening 11 minutes, in a positive start, Nicky Maynard going close twice, and Conor Shaughnessy flicked a corner inches wide. The chances kept on coming, but it was Salford who went closest to scoring despite only having two chances themselves in the first half as Craig Conway’s free kick from 27 yards rattled the left post.
A sucker punch for Mansfield three minutes into the second half as a big punt forward was headed on by Adam Rooney, who beat Krystian Pearce to the header, into the path of Jake Jervis who charged into the area on the left and curled a great shot around Conrad Logan and in off the right post. Clinical finishing. Poor defending from Pearce and Kellan Gordon was out of position as Jervis was given a free run into the area. The Stags continued to create chances, Neal Bishop fired over the bar and against the back stanchion from 25 yards, and then a great run from Shaughnessy played in Maynard for a shot across the keeper and inches wide of the left post.
Salford made it 2-0 on 65 minutes with their fourth and final attempt of the game and it was presented to them on a plate as Jervis’s square ball was knocked up in the air by Pearce and fell invitingly for Rooney to volley it past Logan into the net from 14 yards. A good volley but it sat up beautifully for him. Again Pearce was at fault.
The chances kept on coming for Mansfield as Gordon did well on the right with sub Dapo Afolayan and curled in a lovely cross which Mal Benning somehow headed down into the ground and wide at the left post.
Mansfield pulled a goal back after 77 minutes as man of the match Shaughnessy curled a lovely ball into the box, Maynard controlled it superbly to turn away from his marker Nathan Pond and tuck it past the keeper. A quality finish, something that was sadly lacking for the rest of the evening from the Stags.
The Stags continued to create chances as Benning’s free kick reached Pearce who kneed it goalwards from 2 yards out, the ball hit the keeper from point blank range and then ricocheting back off Pearce and onto the roof of the net, and Bishop’s half-volley from the edge of the box was on target but blocked.
24 attempts at goal in total but the Stags were not good enough to put more than one away, while Salford scored twice from just 4 attempts and hit the post with another, with clinical finishing, aided by a couple of pieces of poor defending from Mansfield.
The Stags should not have lost this game. A night of utter frustration. But they have to dust themselves down and put it right at Walsall on Saturday.


Mansfield made three changes from the side that drew at Forest Green. Sweeney returned from suspension to replace Preston who dropped to the bench. MacDonald returned from injury to replace Hamilton, who disappointed at Forest Green. Cook started his first game for the Stags after his two goals as substitute on Saturday, replacing Tomlinson, who also disappointed on Saturday. The Stags switched back to 4-4-2. Clarke and Sterling-James dropped out of the 18. White served the last game of his suspension. Rose and Mellis remained out injured.

Salford included former Stags loanee Mani Dieseruvwe on the bench and he was to come on in the second half. Salford made one change from their previous game, bringing in emergency loan goalkeeper Mark Howard with regular keeper Kyle Letheren out injured. None of the high profile Salford owners were in the Directors box.

It was a pleasant evening in Mansfield.

The Stags were off to a positive start. After 4 minutes, Cook teed up Maynard who sent a low shot from the edge of the area straight at the keeper. Two minutes later, a tremendous cross from Benning from the left and Maynard glanced a header inches wide of the right post. A super header from Maynard that was so close. Then two minutes after that Cook played a one-two with Maynard and fired over the bar from a tight angle on the left. After 11 minutes, Gordon crossed from the right and Cook headed goalwards, it was heading just inside the post and the keeper pushed it wide for a corner. From the resulting corner from Khan to the far post, Shaughnessy hooked a shot just wide of the right post with his back to goal. Very close again.

Five chances in the opening 11 minutes.

Salford had the ball in the net after 16 minutes as Touray’s free kick from the right was headed into the net by Burgess but the offside flag was up before the ball hit the net. After 23 minutes, Jake Jervis showed great pace down the left and his cross was through everyone.

Maynard fired high and wide from 25 yards after 26 minutes. After 29 minutes, Khan played a nice ball inside to Maynard whose shot was deflected for a corner. The resulting corner from Benning came back to him via good play from Shaughnessy, Benning found MacDonald whose cross was deflected goalwards by defender Pond but it was an easy save for the keeper.

Shaughnessy made space for a shot 25 yards out after 30 minutes but pulled it wide. Two minutes later, Bishop side-footed wide from the edge of the area after Khan’s cross was cleared to him. Then a good move as Khan found Bishop who tried another side-footed shot that went through Burgess’s legs and straight to the keeper. After 34 minutes, Khan made a good run to the byline, his ball across was cleared to MacDonald whose shot from the edge of the area was blocked through to the keeper.

12 attempts at goal for the Stags in the opening 34 minutes, but none converted.

For all the Stags’ chances, it was Salford who went closest to scoring on 38 minutes as Craig Conway’s free kick from 27 yards rattled the left post.

After 44 minutes, a Salford cross into the area from Burgess and Bishop got his head on it sending it just over his own bar. Bishop then headed away the resulting corner.

No score at the break and the Stags left ruing being unable to convert any of 12 attempts of goal, but it was Salford with just two attempts who had gone closest, hitting the post.

Half time 0-0

A sucker punch for Mansfield three minutes into the second half as a big punt forward was headed on by Adam Rooney, who beat Krystian Pearce to the header, into the path of Jake Jervis who charged into the area on the left and curled a great shot around Conrad Logan and in off the right post. Clinical finishing. Poor defending from Pearce and Kellan Gordon was out of position as Jervis was given a free run into the area.

The Stags continued to create chances. After 58 minutes, Bishop fired over the bar and against the back stanchion from 25 yards after good play from Shaughnessy and Benning. Then a minute later, a great run from Sweeney from inside his own area and then from Shaughnessy who played in Maynard for a shot across the keeper and inches wide of the left post. That was very close and was a great move. After 62 minutes, Bishop tried a ball forward for MacDonald to run on to but there was just too much on it as it ran through to the keeper. A minute later, Khan got down the left, cut back onto his right foot and shot over the bar.

Salford made it 2-0 on 65 minutes with their fourth and final attempt of the game and it was presented to them on a plate as Jervis’s square ball was knocked up in the air by Pearce and fell invitingly for Rooney to volley it past Logan into the net from 14 yards. A good volley but it sat up beautifully for him. Again Pearce was at fault.

Afolayan replaced MacDonald after 67 minutes. MacDonald had been ineffective.

Khan fed Shaughnessy after 68 minutes but he wanted too long to shoot from the edge of the area and the chance as gone.

The chances kept on coming. After 71 minutes, Gordon did well on the right with Afolayan and curled in a lovely cross which Mal Benning somehow headed down into the ground and wide at the left post. In fairness to Benning it did bounce awkwardly in front of him. A minute later, good battling from Maynard on the edge of the area, the ball reached Bishop, whose shot was blocked, though it was going wide anyway.

Mansfield pulled a goal back after 77 minutes as Shaughnessy curled a lovely ball into the box, Maynard controlled it superbly to turn away from his marker Nathan Pond and tuck it past the keeper. A quality finish, something that was sadly lacking for the rest of the evening from the Stags.

The Stags continued to create chances. After 79 minutes, Afolayan pushed forward and his shot was blocked after a good one-two with Maynard. A minute later, Cook did well to find Benning on the left who crossed in and Maynard headed wide.

After 85 minutes, Bishop was fouled 24 yards out, to the right of centre. Khan elected not to shoot, and his cross was cleared.

After 87 minutes, Benning’s free kick reached Pearce who kneed it goalwards from 2 yards out, the ball hit the keeper from point blank range and then ricocheting back off Pearce and onto the roof of the net. Incredible.

Into stoppage time, a double chance for the Stags as Bishop’s half-volley from the edge of the box was on target but blocked and then then Benning crossed and Bishop headed down in the six yard box and it was cleared away. So close again. The Stags had Salford penned in. Gordon crossed from the right but it was cleared, then Gordon put in another cross which was over everyone. Finally Cook went down in the area after a cross from Benning but there was no penalty, and from the video I think the referee got that right.

Bishop was booked after 90+4 minutes.

The full time whistle brought utter frustration to Mansfield.

24 attempts at goal for Mansfield, 12 in each half, to just 4 from the visitors, 2 in each half, yet it all counted for nothing for the Stags. The Stags’ defending has let then down so many times this season, after being the best defence in League Two last season, and it happened again here.

The Stags will need to bounce back at Walsall. 17 points from the first 15 games of the season is simply not good enough. But if the Stags can continue to create so many goalscoring chances as they did here, and tighten up the defence, then better results will hopefully follow.

Man of the match: Conor Shaughnessy


Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill



Line Up:
(4-4-2)
Logan 6 Not at fault for either goal in my opinion, which were both clinical finishes. Also beaten by the free kick against the post.
Gordon 6 Got forward well but was out of position as Jervis was given a free run into the area for the first Salford goal.
Pearce 4 At fault for both goals. Missed a good chance in front of goal late on.
Sweeney 7 Defended solidly. One very good run forward.
Benning 7 Some good crosses and set pieces. Missed a free header at the far post.
MacDonald 5 Ineffective.
Shaughnessy 8 Man of the match performance. Passing was mostly good and kept the Stags moving forward.
Bishop 6 Several attempts at goal but couldn’t find the net, though unlucky with one shot that was on target. Still not reaching his form levels from last season.
Khan 7 Some good passing and one good corner. Continued his recent poor shooting form, and then when he had another chance to shoot later on, he elected to pass instead. Did try to drive the side forward though.
Maynard 7 Superb control for his goal. Unlucky not to score two more.
Cook 6 Did ok on his first start. One header on target but couldn’t beat the keeper.
Sub Line Up:
Afolayan (for MacDonald, 67 mins) -
Subs not used: Olejnik, Preston, Tomlinson, Smith, Hamilton, Knowles.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2): Howard; Wiseman, Burgess, Pond, Touray; Jones, Conway (Hughes 81), Lois Maynard, Jervis; Armstrong (Threlkeld 75), Rooney (Dieseruvwe 75). Subs: Evans, Lloyd, Towell, Doyle.
Referee:
Neil Hair 7 Handled the game well. I think he was right to turn down the last minute appeal for a Stags penalty.


Season 19/20 Reports